Unions demand AFL-CIO shun mega-donor green extremist Tom Steyer

Labor unions representing construction workers are fed up with the sell-out of their members’ interests to big-money radical environmentalist donors, and open warfare is breaking out.  Alexander Bolton of The Hill reports:

Seven unions in the AFO-CIO are demanding that the labor confederation cut ties with Tom Steyer, the environmental activist and megadonor funding a new super-PAC with the organized labor group.

Steyer, of course, is the San Francisco hedge fund billionaire who made a good chunk of his fortune off coal.

In a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, the officials protested Steyer’s opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline, and said they want none of their dues funneled toward the For Our Future PAC, a group backed by the AFL-CIO and Steyer that plans to raise $50 million to elect a Democratic president.

The letter, signed by Sean McGarvey, the president of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department, and the representatives of seven unions within the confederation, decried the AFL-CIO’s pattern of working with outside groups that sometimes oppose projects that would create jobs.

They accused the AFL-CIO of having “officially become infiltrated by financial and political interests that work in direct conflict to many of our members’ — and yes, AFL-CIO dues paying members’ lives.”

The Democratic Party is in thrall to the radical environmentalists, hostile to all use of hydrocarbon-based energy, upon which the health of our economy depends.  The few remaining private-sector union members’ jobs are placed in jeopardy by the stranglehold the greens want to exercise on the economy.  Unfortunately for them, the AFL-CIO is now dependent on the dues of government workers, who are indifferent to the plight of the economy, since (they think) taxes can always be raised to fund their salaries, perks, and secure retirements.

The only real weight carried by the industrial trade unions is the legitimacy they provide for the union movement as a whole.  Most people think of unions as representing coal miners, steelworkers, autoworkers, and the like, as was the historic origin of the movement.  But today, unions are mostly about extracting dues from hordes of government employees and bribing politicians to keep the tax money flowing to their members, who now enjoy privileged status in the workforce.  If and when the building trades and industrial unions wither and die, and unions become purely a means for government workers to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else, the prospect of returning to the pre-Nixon days when the very thought of unionized government workers was anathema (as it was to FDR) becomes more thinkable.

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